A Talk on Race Unity with Dr. Firaydoun Javaheri

Posted: 2020/10/23

The following talk, delivered by former Universal House of Justice member Dr. Firaydoun Javaheri, was the keynote presentation at the Ontario virtual summer school held from 30 July to 1 August.


Every summer across Ontario, friends gather at seasonal schools to participate in programs of education, spiritual growth, and community building. This year, due to the global pandemic, the organizers of Shining Lamp Baháʼí School and Kawaa’aetae Baháʼí School decided to collaborate and hold a virtual summer school from 30 July to 1 August with the theme “Arising to the Call of ʻAbdu’l-Bahá.” The response was very positive, and it was clear that it filled a gap created by the cancellation of in-person summer schools across the region. Over 200 people registered for the school, with the majority residing in Ontario and others participating from other parts of the world.

The keynote presentation, provided by Dr. Firaydoun Javaheri, was entitled “Race and Prejudice” and focused on racial unity and the Baháʼí response to racial injustice. In his talk, Dr. Javaheri explored the forces in society that promote racism, subtle and overt, in light of the Bahá’í teachings and the current community-building work. He drew on the Universal House of Justice’s 22 July 2020 message to the Bahá’ís of the United States to give concrete examples of the need to work together to establish core activities as sources of inspiration, mutual support, and friendship. The present world order cannot be mended, he reminded participants, a new one must be created.

Dr. Javaheri’s talk was followed by a question and answer period for participants to share some of their reflections on racial prejudice. Many questioned how to engage in conversations surrounding racial prejudice in a constructive way, to which Dr. Javaheri replied that we must plainly recognize the state of our society and meet it with love, justice, and the tools given to us through the institute process. His talk, along with others at the summer school, allowed participants to explore Canada’s role in the building of the new world order and the example given to us by ‘Abdu’l-Bahá.

A French transcript of Dr. Javaheri’s talk is available by clicking the link below.